Rep. Alexander knew of Foleys misconduct

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 15, 2006

VIDALIA &8212; The U.S. representative for Concordia Parish was one of the first lawmakers to see evidence of possible inappropriate behavior by Rep. Mark Foley.

But Rep. Rodney Alexander said in a press release that he feels he handled the situation appropriately.

Foley has been at the center of a recent scandal involving sexually suggestive messages sent to a Washington, D.C., page, a teenage boy.

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On Sept. 30 Foley publicly apologized and resigned his post after it was discovered he wrote e-mails and sexually suggestive instant messages to a former male page in 2005.

Alexander&8217;s office sponsored the page, and the representative was made aware of the messages and e-mails early on. But he was asked by the boy&8217;s parents not to pursue the matter, his office says. He honored their wishes.

According to a press release from Alexander&8217;s D.C. office, the parents of the page wrote a letter expressing their support and thanks for Alexander&8217;s actions.

&8220;In the fall of 2005, as soon as Congressman Alexander became aware of the e-mails received by our son, he called us,&8221; the parents stated. &8220;He explained that his office had been made aware of these e-mails by our son and that while he thought the e-mails were overly friendly, he did not think, nor did we think, that they were offensive enough to warrant an investigation.&8221;

According to the release, the parents asked Alexander to see that Foley stop sending the e-mails or contacting their son in order to avoid a media frenzy, which he did.

Alexander&8217;s press secretary, Adam Terry said Friday Alexander acted on what he thought was the right thing to do and that was not even his responsibility to do so.

Terry said the page has the responsibility to report to other political officers before going to the representative.

&8220;The representative&8217;s office sponsors a page but we are not responsible for that page,&8221; Terry said. &8220;The page is supposed to be under the guidance of the speaker of the house or the house clerk.&8221;

In the letter the parents also insisted that the instant messages only recently surfaced as a result of the news of the e-mails and are a separate matter.